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Thesis Research Project Governance of Sustainability


Title course: Thesis Research Project

Coordinator: Dr. Valerio Barbarossa


The Thesis Research Project is the final course of the MSc programme where students will apply the knowledge and skills acquired throughout the programme. The core activity of the Thesis Research Project consists of a research project, i.e., the capstone project, that students will independently conduct under the supervision of two supervisors. This typically results in a written report that can be complemented with additional products resulting from the research work, such as a product/process design or a piece of software. Ancillary activities to this course include a module to prepare students to the common practices involved in conducting scientific research and a final oral defense, where students will present their work and respond to questions from an appointed committee.

Learning goals

By the end of the Thesis Research Project, you should be able to:

  • Integrate perspectives from both environmental science and governance disciplines to analyze and/or develop governance solutions to sustainability problems.

  • Learn to communicate effectively with and integrate the expertise of different stakeholders in the research project.

  • Critically evaluate results of scientific and/or policy literature.

  • Independently design and carry out a research project.

  • Gather and analyze data by employing qualitative and/or quantitative research techniques.

  • Effectively manage the feedback of others (e.g., supervisors, peers, stakeholders).

  • Synthesize your findings in the form of a written report and convincingly present them.

Teaching methods/mode of instruction

Capstone topics are proposed by supervisors prior to the start of the course and consist of a broad research topic. Each capstone topic comprises about five potential capstone projects. This means that up to five students will be working in a capstone topic, each on a different capstone project that aims at answering different research questions within a common research topic. The Thesis Research Project is always supervised by two supervisors, one from the Faculty of Science and one from the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs. The first supervisor is involved with the day-to-day supervision of the student. The second supervisor is (at least) involved in the four formal process moments: kick-off meeting, midterm meeting, greenlight meeting and defense.

Type of assessment

The thesis assessment form, including the criteria used for assessment, can be found on the Brightspace page.


This course is only open for students from MSc Governance of Sustainability.
Students who start their Thesis Research Project have to enroll for the course via uSis.

Contact information